News: Four Warned" Training Camp Notes: Tarver, Winky, Trout & More; Cleotis Pendarvis interview

NEW YORK (May 21, 2012) – Training camp continues in full steam for the talented and confident boxers who’ll be fighting on “Four Warned” – the highly anticipated quadrupleheader featuring a pair of boxing legends in dangerous assignments and two world championship fights on Saturday, June 2, live on SHOWTIME® from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

In the main event, former light heavyweight champion and current SHOWTIME boxing analyst Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (29-6, 20 KO’s), of Tampa, Fla., will face unbeaten, hard-hitting Lateef “Power” Kayode (18-0, 14 KO’s), of Hollywood, Calif., by way of Lagos, Nigeria, in a 12-round cruiserweight bout.

Former world champion Ronald “Winky” Wright (51-5-1, 25 KO’s), of St. Petersburg, Fla., returns to the ring to face undefeated Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (26-0, 20 KO’s), of Brooklyn, N.Y., in a 10-round junior middleweight co-feature.

In the featured world title fights, WBA super welterweight titlist Austin “No Doubt” Trout (24-0, 14 KO’s), of Las Cruces, N.M., will defend against third-ranked WBA contender Delvin Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KO’s), of Danbury, Conn., by way of Santiago, D.R., and IBF No. 1-rated bantamweight contender Vusi “Marvelous” Malinga (20-3, 12 KO’s), of Johannesburg, South Africa, and unbeaten IBF No. 5-rated bantamweight contender Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (19-0-1,11 KO’s), of Lincoln Heights, Calif., will clash for the vacant IBF bantamweight crown.

Other than Malinga, who’s still in South Africa, all the fighters on “Four Warned” train in the United States. Here’s what the seven fighters said from their training camps:

Antonio Tarver

“I changed things up starting with my last fight against Danny Green. I ran when I needed to run and I got into condition. I didn’t overdo it and over-train like I normally had to do in order to make weight. I had to kill myself to get down in the past and we’re not doing that now. We’re taking our time, working in the gym and working on strength and conditioning and we’re being consistent.

“If we miss a day to get some rest, that’s OK and it’s not the end of the world. As long as I’m eating good, living right and getting my rest, that’s the main thing. We’re not going to beat ourselves up in sparring. If I get fatigued to the point where I’m not as sharp anymore, they’ll pull me out. I’m doing things like the veteran that I am and we’re doing it real smart.

“We’re keeping things in perspective. It’s about having my body catch up with my mind, because my mind is there. I’m sharp. The reflexes are still there as well, but the body has to catch up because when I put my mind on it, the mind is already there and I’m dialed in, but the body needs to get the endurance built up. Don’t worry, things are coming along great and we’ll peak on fight night.

“I’m working in Tampa with my longtime trainer Jimmy Williams and Buddy McGirt comes down three or four days a week. He’ll also be down the week before we leave for the fight and he knows what we’ve got to work on. Jimmy and Buddy work together great and I think I’ve got the best of both worlds with these guys. Jimmy is a great guy in preparation and I think Buddy is the best trainer in the game between rounds as far as giving the proper instructions and making sure he has his fighter’s attention and focus.”

Lateef Kayode

“I've had a great camp at The Wild Card. I have a great team. We started early, so I’ve been working for a long time. It will be three months by fight time. I’m in the best condition ever. My body can take anything he throws at me. If he wants to trade, I will trade and if he wants to box, I will box. I can go 12 rounds without a problem, but there is no way he will be able to withstand the kind of punishment I will give him unless he plans on running away all night. Either way I am knocking this man out.

“If it goes the distance, they might try to rob me, so I am going to put Tarver to sleep before the 12th round. That way I am the judge and the jury.”

Winky Wright

“Camp is great. We’re ready to fight. I’m ready to kick some butt.

“It’s been great training in Tampa, while being home to see my kids. It motivates me even more to have my family around, but I’m glad I went away to Phoenix for a month to get my body used to the intense training again.

“Now I’m just fine-tuning and getting ready for June 2. There are a lot of different things I’m doing in camp with my trainer Dan Birmingham, but you have to wait to see it on fight night.”

Peter Quillin

“The day of the fight will mark the 32-year anniversary of my father leaving Cuba and coming to the United States. He arrived in the United States on June 2, 1980, so I have a stronger reason why this fight means so much to me. I’m living the true American Dream.

“Winky keeps saying he is coming to knock Kid Chocolate’s head off. I really want to know who put a battery in this man’s back. Now the fans will expect Winky Wright to keep his word, but I will continue to be the powerhouse that I am. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

“This camp has taught me that if I want to perform at the top level, then I have to prepare at the top level. You can expect nothing less from me – only hard work. I’m a fulltime fighter that believes the job can never be done. When it comes to boxing, there’s always room for improvement and ways to get better.

“The atmosphere at Wild Card is really supportive. You feel like you are going into the ring with a posse of other professionals right there with you. I’m fortunate to have Freddie Roach and Eric Brown working (with me) six days a week and I’m also blessed to work with Brad Bose who does my condition training three days a week. My brother Chedrick and my father Pedro have been the key to me in this camp with their support and love for me. That’s why I know I'm going to take Winky Wright to Pluto.

“Thanks to all my sparring partners for prepping and pushing me. I’m the sharpest I ever been.

“I can’t relate to Winky's saying he’s excited to be fighting on the same card as Tarver and that ‘it feels good, it makes it easy to have your homeboy on the same card.’ Winky makes it sounds like Tarver is going to help him fight me, but on June 2nd, it’s just me and him. He’ll wish he had Tarver’s help.’’

Austin Trout

“I’m training at Las Cruces PAL Boxing Gym, the same gym I’ve trained at since I was 10-years-old.

“Camp has been great. I’m focused. I’m in terrific shape. I’m right on schedule. My weight is good. All I need is for time to go by so I can get in there on June 2nd.

“I’ve been running six or seven miles a day and sprinting three or four of those miles. I’ve been sparring 12 rounds with 30 seconds rest with three different guys – Shiju Shabazz, Aie Han and J.C. Candelo.

“I want to dedicate this camp to my good friend Lavar Washington, a childhood friend who passed a few days ago.’’

Delvin Rodriguez

“I’ve been training in the Adirondacks for the last four weeks and will stay here until I leave for the fight. This is my first time at this location, up in the mountains, and it’s perfect, with no distractions and great running.

“This is my third camp with my trainer (former heavyweight contender) Fernily Feliz and we’ve had an excellent camp. Sparring has been terrific with Sechew Powell and Denis “Mama’s Boy” Douglin.

“This is my third fight at 154 and I feel much stronger since moving up from 147. I don’t have to worry about making weight.”

Leo Santa Cruz

“This is a great opportunity to become a world champion. It will be the toughest fight of my career because I know Malinga will come very well prepared, but am very optimistic that I will win.’’

“It’s been a great camp. I’ve been training for almost two months and have had something like 95 rounds of sparring (with Julian Ramirez, Raymond Chacon and Joseph Diaz). I’m in great shape thanks to Jose Santa Cruz (trainer) and Daniel Garcia (conditioning trainer).

“This is a dream come true fore me. I am really looking forward to June 2nd.’’

Tickets are on sale for as low as $25, with VIP floor seats priced at $200. Other tickets in the 8,000-seat outdoor stadium are priced at $50 and $100. Fans can purchase tickets at or by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849), as well as The Home Depot Center Box Office (open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available for purchase by calling 1-877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 1-877-234-8425.

“Four Warned” features former Light Heavyweight World Champion Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (29-6, 20 KO’s) facing unbeaten Lateef Kayode (18-0, 14 KO’s) in a 12-round cruiserweight fight, former undisputed junior middleweight kingpin Winky Wright (51-5-1, 25 KO’s) returning to the ring to meet undefeated Peter Quillin (26-0, 20 KO’s) in a middleweight bout, Austin Trout (24-0, 14 KO’s) risking his perfect record and WBA Super Welterweight belt against Delvin Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KO’s) and IBF number one rated bantamweight contender Vusi Malinga (20-3, 12 KO's) facing IBF number five rated contender Leo Santa Cruz (19-0-1, 11 KO’s) for the vacant IBF bantamweight title. All four bouts will be telecast on Saturday, June 2, live on SHOWTIME® (9:00 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. “Four Warned” is presented by A.T. Entertainment, Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions with Trout vs. Rodriguez being presented in association with Greg Cohen Promotions and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Malinga vs. Santa Cruz being presented in association with Branco Sports.

Q & A with Cleotis "Mookie" Pendarvis

By Chris Straight: Cleotis "Mookie" Pendarvis is thankful. Thankful for the talent he has been given. Thankful for the team he has assembled around him. Thankful for all the big name sparring partners that taught him so much on the way up. Even thankful to his opponent on May 25 for taking the fight. Pendarvis is not the kind of fighter with a padded record, who wishes his team would throw him in deep. Pendarvis has faced tough opposition early in his career, and swam more often as he sank.

He has already suffered from questionable scoring and officiating, and has always seemed to come back stronger. Now settled in at 140, after campaigning at welterweight for much of his career, Pendarvis is focused on the future. We had the chance to speak to him a few days for a wuick "Q and A" before he squares off against Rob Frankel for the USNBC and USBA Junior Welterweight titles at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California on May 25th.

Q: How'd you get the nickname "Mookie?"

A: It's a family nickname, that my Auntie gave me. It's followed me from family to boxing to everywhere... but my boxing nickname is "Prince".

Q: When did you get into boxing, and why?

A: I was ten years old. I was fighting all the time. Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, you fight every day... at Washington Park, etc I was always fighting. I kept coming into the gym, and people knew me in there. The trainers would tell me to leave, and I said I won't leave unless you put me in the ring with him. "Him" was this kid named Miguel, who was one of the best amateurs in the state at the time. After I sparred with "him," the trainers said, "man, you can fight!"

Q: What was your amateur record?

A: 58-6. I stopped at age 14, and came back at age 17, to compete in the men's division.

Q: Where do you currently train?

A: Mostly at The Rock in Torrance, CA. My trainers are Chuck Washington and Jamal Abdullah.

Q: Who did you idolize in boxing growing up?

A: I have a strong faith in God, so I don't idolize any man, but as far as style... Pernell Whittaker. He was the man. Hit and not get hit. That's what this game is all about, but a lot of guys get that twisted.

Q: You were thrown in pretty quick with other prospects and experienced fighters. Was that by design?

A: Yeah, I knew I could beat them.

Q: You're 3 losses are a 36 second KO, and 2 close decisions. What happened there?

A: Well when I fought Noel Rodriquez, the fight was during the day, outside. The sun was in my eyes, and he caught me with a good shot. I heard the refs count, but as I tried to get up, he pushed me back down and stopped the fight! That was one of the worst days ever. When I fought Terrance Cauthen and Mauricio Herrera, they got gifts. I hurt Cauthen a few times in that fight.

Q: Are you looking for revenge?

A: I'm not worried about Cauthen since he can't make 140, but I think Mauricio has been getting a lot of gifts. I thought Mike Dallas beat him, but I'm gonna get Mauricio eventually. Everyone was coming up to me after that one, and saying I got robbed.

Q: You scored a big 1st round KO win over former contender Steve Quinonez. Describe that one.

A: Well, Steve kept lunging in with the right hand... and I just kept using the jab, and knowing he would eventually fall in with it too far... and when he did, I turned the hook on him.

Q: You've sparred with a lot of big names, correct?

A: Oh yes, Oscar, Shane, Corrales, Hatton... anyone who was getting ready for a southpaw would call me, but that's in the past.

Q: Meaning your concentrating on your own career?

A: Yes, this time out, I called in sparring for me, and paid them. The names all know me, but after I get this win and the rankings, they'll have to fight me.

Q: Where can people who cannot see you live see your fights.

A: They can put my name in on youtube. Even though I've gotten a lot better and those that come to Woodland Hills on May 25 will see the best I have to offer, I like that the past fights are up there.

Q: Maybe somebody will get a false sense of security.

A: (laughs) Yeah, thinking "oh, he does this, or he makes that mistake."

Q: Anything you want to tell the fans out there?

A: Even if you can't see this fight, you're gonna hear about what I can do. I want to thank God, and my team: Steve Bash, and my managers and promoters: Warren Wilkerson and Herb Hudson. i also want to thank Frankel for taking the fight. He showed what kind of a man he is, and may the best man win.

Tickets to WAR AT WOODLAND HILLS VIII, can be purchased online by going to or by calling (626) 388-8888. WAR AT WOODLAND HILLS VIII takes place on Friday, May 25, 2012 at the Warner Center Marriott Grand Ballroom in Woodland Hills. Doors Open at 7:00 pm, First Bout at 7:30 pm sharp.

WAR AT WOODLAND HILLS VIII is presented by Art Of Boxing Promotions in association with Bash Boxing, Pitbull Boxing, and Ural Boxing Promotions and is sponsored by Pitbull Energy Drink and Energy Bar, Roscoe's Chicken 'N Waffles, Dickerson Employee Benefits, Zeke's Bail Bonds, Frog Environmental, Hollywood Law Center, and Futurola The Dutch Rolling Company.

All bouts are subject to change

Article posted on 22.05.2012

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